Costume Shop Ad Says Halloween Is the Only Time of Year to Dress Up

Halloween costume store front window - courtesy of BostonZest.com
As I was driving to my friend's apartment today for our work-out date, an ad interrupted my music to bring me nothing but bilge.  And by bilge, I don't mean that the content wasn't worth the listen; in fact, I was glad to hear it was for a local costume shop discussing what it could offer shoppers for Halloween.  So what was bilge-y about the ad?

Because it started out by claiming Halloween was the only time of year you could dress up to be someone else.

Um... excuse me?  Where do I even begin?

Let's look at the facts.

The truth is that this ad's claim is 100% false.  So many other occasions call for costumes that you would think this local costume shop wouldn't risk ostracizing its customers during the other eleven months out of the year.  For example, it's rare for me to attend a Renaissance festival where I don't see any costumes at all, and though I haven't been to a convention yet, the pictures I've seen confirm that costumes are the status quo, not the exception.  I haven't even touched on themed parties, sporting events, or sexual encounters (you can read all about that in one of my GGN posts).

But my main concern with this ad was that it shows no recognition of costuming as anything other than a marketing scheme for this time of year.  The mentality of "costumes are okay for Halloween, but only for Halloween" is appalling and downright detrimental to the progress that many costumers and cosplayers have made over the years for gaining acceptance as not just freaks, but as artists or at the very least impressive hobbyists.  How are they supposed to continue being accepted by society in general, year-round, when this message of costumes-for-Halloween-only is blared over the radio?

But don't get too upset...

I don't want to make this local costume shop seem horrible.  Some really nice people could be working there and they may have an excellent selection of costumes.  They may not even be open year-round, which would explain why they are advertising in such a simplistic way.  However, I still feel that their marketing team/person has a lot to learn about the true nature of costuming in today's society of geeks and non-geeks alike.

What do you guys think about this ad?  Have you heard others like it?  Am I hearing it wrong just because I want to?  Leave comments and please share this post on your favorite site by using the buttons below!


Geoker said...

Actually, the notion is apalling! I have an entire suitcase of costume pieces that I've made and had throughout the years. And I would sooner wear a costume to work than a uniform!

Theatrical productions aside, I also think that it's almost thearaputic to be able to dress up and have fun! Even if you aren't a thesbian or don't enjoy the makeup part, it's becoming more and more a part of society anyway (have you seen the wildly popular show "Face Off"? It's amazing!)It really gives off a confidence and it's something that I would love to be able to do more, even if I'm only doing it by myself in my room!

So... I highly disagree with this! Costumes are not for Halloween or only "one time a year". Fie on this ad, I say!

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